Moms, you’ve all been there. You’ve been waiting 2 hours at the doctor’s office or at the beauty salon or, in Natalie Hegedus’ case, waiting your turn to see the judge in a courtroom.
Your little one starts crying—of course, he’s hungry at the most inopportune moment—so you discretely slip to the back of the room for a quick feeding. After all, it’s not illegal to breastfeed in public, right?
There are laws in 45 states protecting the right for a mother to breastfeed in public areas, but in Natalie’s case, District Judge Robert Hentchel called her out, asking if she believed it was appropriate for a court of law to breastfeed.
Natalie responded that her son was hungry, he was sick (had an ear infection) and it wasn’t against the law, so she believed it was fine. “My breast was not hanging out, it was not inappropriate,” Hegedus told the Kalamazoo Gazette. “He called me out in front of everyone that was in the courtroom. No one knew what was going on until he said something.”
The judge disagreed. He called her out, leaving her humiliated and in tears. She plans on filing a complaint against the judge, reports the Kalamazoo Gazette. Circuit Judge Paul E. Hamre, who serves as chief judge of the courts in Van Buren County said that he won’t reprimand Judge Hentchel because, “He’s done nothing that would remotely appear to be something that I would reprimand him for.” Hmmm… Humiliating a mother in a courtroom for doing the best for her baby is nothing?
What do you think? Have you ever been nervous about breastfeeding in public? Has anyone ever made an issue of it, if you’ve breastfed in a public place?